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Net Metering: A Missed Opportunity for Utilities to Embrace Distributed Energy Resources

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David  Walter's picture
President , Level 3 Solar

I am the author of a # 1 best-selling book, entrepreneur contributor, and owner of a solar company, Level 3 Solar, that helps homeowners eliminate their electric bills. Our local certified solar...

  • Member since 2023
  • 23 items added with 2,772 views
  • Feb 3, 2023

As more and more homeowners invest in rooftop solar installations, the question arises: are Utilities missing a valuable source of distributed energy by not having net metering plans in place? In markets where deregulation has occurred, such as Houston, consumers with solar installations can switch to energy providers that offer net metering plans. But is this a missed opportunity for Utilities? 

On the surface, it may seem like a good thing for Utilities to have fewer homeowners acting as their batteries with the use of net metering. However, this attitude overlooks the fact that distributed energy resources, such as rooftop solar, can provide valuable overproduction at peak energy times. With many Utilities reaching or approaching their maximum energy production capacity, it makes sense to take advantage of any additional resources available. 

Furthermore, offering net metering plans can also be a way for Utilities to attract and retain customers. As more people look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint and become more energy efficient, having the option to generate their own electricity through rooftop solar can be a major selling point. 

Additionally, by offering net metering, Utilities can create a mutually beneficial relationship with customers who have solar installations. These customers can provide excess energy back to the grid during times of peak demand, in exchange for credit on their utility bill. 

Another benefit for utilities to have a net metering plan is that it can help to promote and support the growth of a sustainable energy ecosystem. As more homeowners invest in solar, it can drive down the cost of solar technology and make it more accessible to a wider range of people. This, in turn, can lead to greater energy independence, reduced dependence on fossil fuels, and a smaller carbon footprint. 

In conclusion, while it may seem counterintuitive for Utilities to offer net metering plans, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Not only can it provide valuable overproduction at peak energy times, but it can also attract and retain customers, promote a sustainable energy ecosystem, and promote energy independence. It is time for Utilities to embrace the potential of distributed energy resources and take advantage of the opportunities that rooftop solar can provide. 

So, if you are a utility company and do not have a net metering plan, it is time to start exploring the possibility of one. It will be a win-win for both utilities and customers. 

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Feb 8, 2023

The Federal Government requires all utilities to have Net Metering to buy back power from their customers.the biggest problem I see is that FERC never definded the payback rate or if it is daily or monthly and how much to pay for over production at the end of the year. The local power commisions can hold utilities accountable for paying reasonable Net metering but some government and coop utilities are not regulated by commisions. 

    When our local triple nuclear reactors had to be refueled and maintenance problems were also found they have to pay over $1  kWh for spot power yet my solar production was only paid 3 cents a kWh. These problems need to be corrected and FERC should define this. 

    The utilities don't want to pay anything with Net Metering. They would rather put in their own solar and wind and keep all the profits. They also charge extra for clean power but don't want to pay others for it. 

David  Walter's picture
Thank David for the Post!
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